About this blog
A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Posters (actually broadsides, initially) have been displayed in Great Britain since the late 1600s. They became indispensable during election periods in Great Britain in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when many more people were enfranchised, especially after the Labour Party was established in 1906.
The BBC has assembled a group of posters, shown to "illustrate David Lloyd George's political fame ad notoriety," put together on the 150th anniversary of George's birth. The posters range from 1910 to 1929—a period when posters were the paramount medium of political propaganda, and when they were often highly imaginative and printed in eye-catching colors from lithographic stones. Click here to see the posters.
George's Liberal Party regained power in 1906. The Liberals "rebranded" their party as one that was more in favor of social reform, and "New Liberals" such as George advocated for legislation to protect and help children, workers, and the unemployed.
George was Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922, which included his leading a coalition government during World War I, followed by his becoming the Leader of the Liberal Party in 1926, a post he held until 1931.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Design for Obama—a Web site started in 2008 to promote Barack Obama's campaign for the U.S. presidency—is up again.
The site was created "as a dorm-room experiment to create a space for artists to function as artists in the political process and help elect Barack Obama," according to the creators.
Many of the 2008 posters are included in a book, Design for Obama: Posters for Change: A Grassroots Anthology," written by Steven Heller, and edited by Aaron Perry-Zucker and Spike Lee.
Dozens of high-resolution posters (one of which can be seen to the right) have been contributed, to be printed and displayed at rallies and anywhere that people want to show support for Obama. Gallery shows will follow.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
In 2008, Rafael López created a powerful poster for the Barack Obama for President campaign. His poster, "Voz Unida" ("United Voice"), was one of ten posters designed for the campaign's Artists for Obama series. The 1000 prints of López's poster sold for $60 each. Some of the other artists in the series were Robert Indiana, Shepard Fairey, Scott Hansen, and Lou Stoval. The style of "Voz Unida"—showing a blue-tinted Obama surrounded by red, yellow, brown, and orange tones—was calculated to appeal to Latino voters, among others.
This year, López designed a new poster, "Estamos Unidos" ("We are United") (seen at the right). He was inspired to do so, he said, because of President Obama's support for "early education programs for children" and because he "has doubled Pell Grants so working families can afford college." Also, according to López, Obama's "bold actions to fix the broken immigration system and support of the Dream Act prove he is on our side." The poster is characterized by the same "visionary" gaze that was evident in the 2008 poster, with the same background colors.
The evolution of the painting of "Estamos Unidos" can be seen at López's Web site.
The new poster will soon be available for purchase at the Obama for America Store.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Poster for Tuxedo Stan, a cat running as a write-in candidate for Mayor of Halifax, Canada, under the banner of the Tuxedo Party. According to its Facebook page, "The Tuxedo Party is a political movement aimed to improve the welfare of felines in HRM [Halifax Regional Municipality] 'because neglect isn't working'." Click here for more on the campaign.
The Tuxedo Party's Facebook page has more than 4,800 "Likes" as of today.
Friday, August 31, 2012
So far, it seems that neither major party candidate for the U.S. presidency has inspired many artists to include their images in posters promoting President Barack Obama or former Governor Mitt Romney (There are a number of posters that show the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, however). For Obama, this is a remarkable departure from 2008, when a multitude of graphic designers and painters created posters that depicted the then-Senator from Illinois in a very positive manner. Among the dozens of pro-Obama posters produced four years ago, the most popular were Shepard Fairey's "Hope" and "Change" creations, which were inspiring, patriotic, and conveyed, as Fairey stated, "noble confidence,... a suggestion of looking into the future."
One poster, designed by Andrew Redford Young in 2011, does show Romney in an inspirational and patriotic way. Like Fairey's posters, it bathes Romney in red-white-and-blue, idealizes his features, and has him gazing into the beyond with confidence. Additionally, Young gives Romney a hint of a smile, accompanied by the simple slogan, "Jobs."
Now that the Republican National Convention is over (soon to be followed by the Democratic convention), it will be interesting to see what, if any, imagery includes the candidates in poster designs.